September 25, 2015

Alliance Activists Call on Congress to Stand Up for Seniors, Prevent Giveaway to Drug Companies

To raise awareness about the pharmaceutical industry’s effort to secure a special exemption from the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process, the Alliance has launched a new campaign with press conferences in Burlington, Vermont, Chicago and Minneapolis. At the urging of certain drug companies, some members of Congress are trying to quietly remove only drug companies from the IPR process, which was put into place to allow for timely challenges to illegitimate patents. Illegitimate drug patents are one of the causes of rising drug prices, such as when a company changes a dosage amount in order to extend a monopoly and stop affordable generic drugs from being available to consumers. Special treatment for the pharmaceutical industry would cost taxpayers billions in higher prescription drug prices.

“Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world and seniors are particularly hard hit,” said Fiesta. “We are calling on members of Congress to stand up for consumers, taxpayers and seniors by opposing a special carve-out for drug companies from IPR patent review.”

The Vermont Alliance held their press event in front of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office, and the Illinois Alliance organized their event with Rep. Jan Schakowsky in front of a Chicago pharmacy. An additional protest is planned for Minneapolis in October. Read an op-ed from Vermont Alliance president Jane Osgatharp here.

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